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Mandatory Arrest and Domestic Violence in Massachusetts: Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1993
This study evaluated the effectiveness of a Massachusetts domestic violence statute that mandates arrest under certain circumstances. The analysis was based on domestic calls for service for a representative sample of 24 police departments throughout the State from December 1991 through March 1992.

The analysis showed that, while most agencies had implemented the training, information, and policy changes required by the statute, they still varied in the extent of arrests made during domestic violence calls. Nonetheless, the arrest rates for domestic violence increased from 7 percent during the period preceding the statute, to 18 percent. Arrest rates for violating a court protection order also increased significantly. Injury to the victim, use of a weapon, presence of a witness, and use of alcohol by the offender also increased the likelihood that the responding officer would make an arrest. Offenders who were themselves injured or who were living with the victim were also more likely to be arrested. 3 figures

Date Published: January 1, 1993